In 1927, Chang was born in Penghu, while Taiwan was under Japanese rule. After graduating from Taipei Commercial High School at the age of 18, he went to work in the Taipei office of a Japanese shipping line.
After World War II, he joined the seagoing staff of a local shipping company as third officer. His subsequent career was spent with various local companies and he progressed through the ranks to captain.
In 1961, Dr. Chang and some friends jointly established a shipping company and, having helped this company to develop, he decided to branch out on his own, establishing Evergreen Marine Corporation on September 1, 1968 with just one secondhand 15,000 ton vessel, Central Trust.
Over the next four years, Chang painstakingly built his fleet up to twelve, running them empty when necessary to convince his customers his services were both as regular as clockwork and as reliable as the sunset. Within a year, he had expanded to the Middle East. Within three, Chang was dispatching Evergreen ships to the Caribbean.
In 1975, Chang realized that containerisation was the way forward. He built four advanced S-type container ships and launched his U.S. East Coast service. Fifteen months later, he added the West coast of the United States to his network. Europe followed in 1979.
By 1984, he started his most ambitious service yet- two 80-day round-the-world services, one circling the globe in an easterly direction, the other westward. Departing every 10 days, the 20 G-type container ships he employed had a capacity of 2,728 containers each and could travel at a speed of 20.5 knots.
The Evergreen Group has expanded beyond the shipping industry to encompass operations in heavy industrial development, air transport, hotels and resorts services.
The Evergreen Group, with over 27,000 employees and more than 220 offices/agents worldwide, now comprises about 30 major corporations worldwide, 3 of which are listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange.
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the California State University, 1990.
Honorary Doctor of Business Administration from the University of South Carolina, 1995.
Honorary Doctor of Shipping & Transportation Management from the National Taiwan Ocean University, 1998.
Honorary Doctor of Business Administration from the Nottingham Trent University, 1999.
Honorary Doctor of Business Administration from the National Chiao Tung University, 2000.
Honorary Doctor of Transport and Academician from Russian Academy of Transport, 2007
Honorary Professorship from the University of Houston–Downtown, 2008
Founder and Group Chairman of The Evergreen Group.
Chairman of the Chang Yung-Fa Foundation.
Chairman Of Chang Yung-Fa Charity Foundation.
Advisor to the President of Panama on International Affairs.
Panamanian Honorary Consul-General in Taipei.
Member of the Tokyo University of Mercantile Marine, Management Advisory Committee.
Order Of Chivalry (D.M.P.N.), which carries the title of “Dato”, State Of Penang, Malaysia, 2000.
Officer Of The Legion of Honor, France, 2002.
Recipient of Lifetime Achievement Award, Lloyd's List 2006.
Commander of the Order of the British Empire(CBE), UK, 2006.
Kebesaran Panglima Setia Mahkota(PSM), which carries the title of “Tan Sri”, Malaysia, 2007.
Knight of the Grand Cross (Cavaliere di Gran Croce), Italy, 2007
Commander of the Order of the Crown (Belgium) (Commandeur de l'Ordre de la Couronne), Belgium, 2008
Commander in the Order of Orange-Nassau, The Netherlands, 2011 Focus Taiwan
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